3 Ways to Improve Mental Health in Retirement
Meet our friends David and Sade. Both of them have been retirees for one and six years, respectively
Sade, who has been retired for six years, wakes up at 6 am every day to go for a run and has been working hard at keeping healthy and happy. She has more time now for her children’s birthday parties and personal passions.
David, on the other hand, just retired but is filled with anxiety about the future. For the first time, he wakes up to face an empty to-do list, which bothers him. This is uncharted territory to him. “What if life becomes bland and the excitement isn’t there anymore,” he thinks.
If Davids’s story sounds familiar, not to worry, here are a few tips to improve your mental well-being:
1. Focus on your physical health – Now that you have more time for your physical health, why not make the most of it? Your physical health is connected to your mental well-being. A few planned and consistent activities like exercising, eating healthier meals, and practicing balancing stretch help ensure that your physical health and, in effect, your mental well-being remain sound.
2. Don’t skip your doctor’s appointments – One thing that can affect mental well-being as you age is worrying about the state of your overall health. If you have any concerns about your physical health or you’ve noticed that something has changed in your body, talk to your doctor during your appointments rather than letting it sit on your mind. He/she will provide answers or assistance that will help eliminate any fears or manage any issues that exist.
3. Explore what gives you a purpose – Having a purpose is critical for mental well-being. It gives you a reason to get up in the morning and gives your days a touch of meaning. Just because you’re retired from regular work doesn’t mean you can’t have a new purpose in life.
Creative activities like painting, writing, drawing, singing, dancing, or building something can help spark a latent passion you didn’t have time to nurture while building your career. You can consider using the experience you have acquired over the years to mentor the younger generation or volunteer for a cause you hold dear; either way, when you find a purpose that lights your heart on fire, it will enhance your mental well-being.